Germany coach Joachim Low has ruled out international recalls for experienced Bayern Munich duo Thomas Muller and Jerome Boateng plus Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels.
Low sent the three players into the international wilderness in March 2019 as he looked to build towards the future after Germany flopped at the 2018 World Cup.
Attacking midfielder Muller (100 caps), and defenders Boateng (76 caps) and Hummels (70 caps) boast 246 appearances for Germany between them and were all in the team that won the World Cup in 2014, but the trio are all over the age of 30.
Germany have qualified for Euro 2020 but their defence in particular has been shaky in recent games, shipping seven goals in their last three matches, leading to calls for Boateng and Hummels to be reconsidered.
However, Low has stated he will resist the urge to bring any of the trio back into the fold unless it was an emergency situation.
“We basically decided not to pick these players, nothing has changed that now,” Low told Kicker.
“We can’t go back now. They are great players with class.
“If a completely new situation arises for us next year due to the failure of key players, I will evaluate it accordingly and think about alternative scenarios.”
The manner in which three popular players, who are still integral to their club sides, have been jettisoned has helped fuel a growing discord between Germany’s fans and the national team setup.
Oliver Bierhoff, the national team director of the German Football Association, has urged the country to unite and get behind Die Mannschaft again.
Germany host the Czech Republic in a friendly fixture on Wednesday before Nations League clashes against Ukraine and Spain.
“It hurts the way the young players are dealt with. A dark cloud is falling over the national team,” ex-Germany striker Bierhoff said at a news conference on Monday.
“I am not interested in the criticism, but in the tonality and the mood that is conveyed in.
“We are no longer Germany’s favourite child but the national team is still Germany’s most important football team. Support and a positive spirit would help the boys.”
Bierhoff claimed representing Germany is still important, and despite some star players earning vast salaries at club level they still sense when supporters of the national team are not behind them.
He added: “You have to be honest – when it comes to money and fame none of the players really need the national team.
“The boys earn a lot of money, but they are also people. It hurts that we no longer support and honour them. The boys really deserve our trust. The players want to be closer to the fans.”